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Chest Tightness, and Breathing difficulty.
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Chest Tightness, and Breathing difficulty.

I have seen many doctors, Internal medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, Psychology, Pulmonology, and a GI, and a Ear nose and throat doctor.  As of yet I am undiagnosed.  I have a tightness in my chest and shortness of breath that comes and goes (but I never feel normal anymore)  It all started around the age of 15-16.  Now its to the point where I feel dizzy, tired, short of breath (some times are much worse then others) and the sensation of someone sitting on my chest.  No medicine helps, I have tried inhalers, GERD meds, psych drugs you name it.  Nothing is helping the tightness.  It all started when I had to take Vicodin more often (1 pill per day) for my migraines.  Can the Vicodin effect intercostales of the ribs?  Or can it effect muscles?  or is there any diseases I might have that the Vicodin can make worse?  I have had extensive blood work is there anything rare that can be tested for that fits this?  thank you
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12 Comments
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995833_tn?1375604252
Da-costa syndrome (Soldiers heart). an anxiety state.
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1960158_tn?1325364481
Have you had your adrenal glands checked for your stress hormone levels? also I would look into something else for your migraines. Vicodins are nothing to mess with. They can do some serious damage to other organs. plus they are prone to addictions. I hope this helps & I hope you feel better (((HUGS)))
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Avatar_m_tn
Follow these techniques everyday, to stimulate the lungs and improve the breathing. Continue this for weeks and months to feel gradual improvement in your immune system.Let me know how you feel after 21 days.
Bhastrika pranayam - Take a long deep breath into the lungs(chest not tummy) via the nose and then completely breathe out through the nose. Place your fists, with the thumb pointing up, on the the legs, above the the knee, and do bhastrika for two minutes.Repeat this  a) with the fists upside down, so that the thumb is pointing down, and resting on the legs, b) with the thumb pointing inwards  c) with the thumb pointing outwards. This will help very much as the lungs open up in different ways.
Repeat this 3 to 8 times during the day.

Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
December 30 ,2011
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, Its Justen I have actually lost a drastic amount of weight since this was posted.  I went from 250 to 210.  But I still feel the symptoms.  I have tried the breathing techniques but they have not done much although they help me relax a bit.   I will also be looking to my adrenal galnds and speaking with a psychologist about the soldiers heart.  Thank you all for your posts I really appreciate it I will do my best to keep you up to date on my condition.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also I wanted to mention When i practiced these techniques I could not feel any air entering my lungs at all... I had to stop. It felt as though I was holding my breath the entire time I tired it.  It seems so strange to me I don't understand why would it feel as though i was holding my breath and I could barely feel the air entering my lungs.
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Avatar_m_tn
Did this happen with  anulom vilom(alternate nostril) pranayam or bhastrika pranayam?
Can you describe in your own words, how you did the breathing technique?
I think you have found something which will help doctors to find where the air is going , if not into the lungs.
February 26 ,2012
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Avatar_m_tn
Its was the Anulom Vilom pranayam when I would close one nostril and breath through the other.  I feel some air but it makes me so short of breath that I will have to stop and pant to catch my breath.  As if I am not getting enough air.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also in the most recent findings my blood work revealed that my body contained nearly no vitamin D at all it was 3 which my doctor said was extremely low.  Are their any disease which would cause low vitamin D and horrible shortness of breath?  I think this might be a clue but my doctor is busy so im going to have to wait 3 weeks to see him again.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Also in the most recent findings my blood work revealed that my body contained nearly no vitamin D at all it was 3 which my doctor said was extremely low.  Are their any disease which would cause low vitamin D and horrible shortness of breath?  I think this might be a clue but my doctor is busy so im going to have to wait 3 weeks to see him again.  Sorry looks like I put the reply to myself in that last comment.  Also a new symptom, I lost about 30 lbs cause the doctors were blaming my weight.  Even though I lost weight I feel pain in my back, ribs, rib tightness, and this shortness of breath.  Also I notice that my breath seems to be very bad no matter how many times I brush my teeth.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow.  Your symptoms sound incredibly familiar to me.  I started with a crummy, fatigued feeling that wouldn't go away.  I felt sluggish all the time.  After 6 months, the shortness of breath kicked in.  As that worsened over the next 6 months, I ended up in the ER where I was given prednisone for supposed asthma.  That's when I began a steady decline of new and worsening symptoms.  I stumped my PCP, a pulmonologist (I don't have asthma), an allergist, an ENT, a cardiologist, and a neurologist, who ordered an MRI, just in case I was new in the progress of MS.  The MRI showed 20 brain lesions.  That really kicked the diagnostic process into high gear.  I had a chest CT, more MRIs, lots of blood tests, and a lumbar puncture.  The night before the lumbar puncture, thinking I had MS, I came across Lyme Disease.  

I couldn't believe how every one of my symptoms was on the list for late stage disseminated Lyme Disease.  I, like most doctors, thought it involved a tick bite, a rash, and swollen knees.  I have since learned there are many different strains, and different people develop different symptoms.  Having my 2nd major symptom as shortness of breath/air hunger is not typical!  Unfortunately, I had to go through a hospitalization for severe abdominal pain and 3 specialists who insisted I did not have Lyme, even though they had no diagnosis to offer me.  

I never saw a tick, and I vaguely remember wondering if I had ringworm in the past, but I'm not sure when.  It turns out some Lyme rashes are solid red with no clearing in the middle.  Lots of people have no rash. I have never had the typical muscle or joint pain. I believe I had a week of a strong penicillin when I first got infected as I had fever, chills, malaise, and got very hoarse. I got better, but suffered bouts of severe fatigue and headache for nearly 5 years before the chronic symptoms started.  The early, insufficient antibiotics interfered with my antibody development, and I unfortunately tested negative on blood and spinal fluid tests.  Most doctors believe the tests are perfect, so I ended up getting tested at IGeneX, a specialty lab in CA. I also went to see a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor, (LLMD) where I was diagnosed after 16 continuous months of decline.  

Total doctor count: 13.  Total symptom count: 40ish.
Check out this document, originally intended for doctors.  It has a thorough symptom list.  Do some research.  There's lots of controversy in the medical profession about Lyme.
http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf

You could also have another tick borne disease called Babesia.  So far, I've tested negative for it 3 times, and my shortness of breath seems to ebb and flow with my other Lyme symptoms, suggesting that is's the Lyme causing the breathing problems.

I found that magnesium supplements (500-600mg/day) and epsom salt baths ease my shortness of breath and air hunger.

On Vit D, Lyme practioners have found that Lyme patients with a coinfection called Bartonella often have "a preponderance of neurological symptoms" and low vitamin D.  I also tested low on Vitamin D shortly after my chronic fatigue kicked in, which I thought was odd as I'm fair and live in California.  I have Bartonella, too.

My Lyme symptoms are more consistent with the European species pf Borrelia called b.garinii.  This one is far more likely to cause neurologic Lyme without arthritis than the North American species known as b.burgdorferi. My worst symptoms are fatigue/cognitive problems, digestive problems, breathing problems, and rib pain (the breathing and "Bell's Palsy of the Gut" problems indicate my 10th cranial/vagus nerve is infected).  The rib pain is because Lyme likes connective tissue, and the intercostals have lots of it.

I have sure learned a lot in the last several months.  I am now on long term antibiotics as I'm not interested in the short course offered by the Infectious Disease Society of America's treatment policy. When you're still sick, they'll just say you have "post Lyme disease treatment syndrome", and here's some prescriptions for your ongoing pain and fatigue.

Check out a local Lyme support group to ask for a recommendation for a good LLMD.  Pay cash if you have to!  Your life is worth it!

Feel free to message me if you have any questions for me.  You're one of only 2 other people I've encountered with a very similar symptom progression as me.  Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
As a PA in training, you would likely get a lot out of Pamela Weintraub's book called "Cure Unknown".  I just recently recovered enough cognitive ability to read it, and it is outstanding!  Very informative, often disturbing when you read about the egos and politics involved with the disease.  You will especially appreciate the more scientific second half of the book where she talks about the numerous studies that have debunked the "official" policies on Lyme.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much for all that info I will be reading up on everything posted and will give this information to my MD because I was in the ER with a tick that I could not remove myself.
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